WAAHEB looks the answer to this as he won his first three bumpers before beaten a short-head in the Champion Bumper at Punchestown in 2011. He's been steadily making his way back after a long absence and has run well against some smart performers. Way Up In The Air had some strong form in bumpers and against smart opposition over hurdles but his two latest efforts have been over fences. He finished 2l behind Silver Friend here in April but is 11lb better off so should have no problems reversing the form. Willie Mullins, who has won this for the past two years, had a trio of entries and relies on Turban, a decent hurdler though not out of the top drawer and much more likely to make his mark in staying events over fences this campaign. The Four Elms has done well on the Flat and loves heavy ground but finished last on his return to hurdles at Punchestown in November.
Silver Friend 14-1 (11-12) Towards rear for most, no impression from 3 out, 9th of 13, 45l behind Rebel Fitz (11-12) at Ballinrobe 2m 1f beg chs sft in May.
Waaheb (USA) 10-3 (11-0) Settled in rear, not jump fluently, ridden in 5th after 2 out and no impression before last, kept on one pace run-in, 4th of 6, 5l behind Rule The World (11-10) at Naas 2m 4f hdl in Oct.
The Four Elms (IRE) 20-1 (10-5) Always rear, lost touch after halfway and no threat from 3 out, last of 11, 46l behind City Slicker (10-6) at Punchestown 2m hcp hdl 0-140 in Nov.
Turban (FR) 11-10fav (11-10) Tracked leaders, mistake 7th, dropped to last into straight, soon struggling to get there, 4th from 2 out, kept on same pace run-in, 4th of 5, 2 1/2l behind Mad Brian (11-1) at Killarney 2m 6f nov chs sft in May.
Way Up In The Air (IRE) 5-2 (10-11) Held up towards rear, closed to track leaders approaching straight, no extra from 2 out, 7th of 8, 27l behind Dressedtothenines (10-11) at Cork 2m 1f mares nov chs Grade 3 (1) sft in Dec.